Today was a good day to get a job done that needs doing every fall. It was a little bit cool this morning, then the sun started to come out and it began to warm up. It was a good day to empty all of my outdoor pots. Every year I say I will cut back, but inevitably there are many pots that need emptying.
First stop was down by the pool. Our pool is not right next to our house. We have an old house and the septic system, well, and fairly recently, geothermal system are all under the ground close to the house. So the pool was built (by the husband) in the corner of our one acre property.
You can see the pool house and if you look closely, you can see the John Deere riding lawnmower and the attached Gorilla Cart.
I have on my rubber boots, my leather garden gloves and my ancient old L.L. Bean barn coat, ready to tackle a wet, messy job.
Because I have large cement planters at the pool, they will be emptied just outside the enclosed pool area into the Gorilla Cart. They are far too heavy to lug all the way to my compost bin. So, the husband drove everything close by and even used a hand cart to bring the cement planters out so I could empty them. They had gorgeous hibiscus plants in them this summer, but of course those won't survive a Canadian winter, so it is time to say good bye.
The pool has been tucked in under its winter cover for a couple of weeks now.
In addition to the cement planters, I also had pots on the pool deck, the steps, and hanging pots as well. Everything gets emptied into the cart, except for the "spikes", which I know have a better Latin name, but I cannot recall right now.
The spikes are hefty healthy things by now and their roots are enormous. I hack away at the root ball to loosen as much soil as I have patience for, then the spike and its crazy root ball get tossed into the burn pile (one huge benefit to living in a rural area is being able to burn scrap material) because it would take forever for it to decompose in my compost bin.
I use lime green sweet potato vine as a "spiller" in many of my arrangements. Here is what lurks under the ground! I wonder if you can cook that up for dinner?
That takes care of pots at the pool, but I also have hanging flowers on the East porch and the arbour, as well as four cast iron urns, two window boxes, and many plants on the porch. Eventually everything gets emptied and it is time to dump the contents into my compost bin.
It makes for a very pretty compost pile for a while. Notice that my compost bin is made from pallets. No, we don't create shelves, or furniture, or season decorations from our leftover pallets. We make a sturdy, easily accessible, perfectly aerated compost bin. Actually I had the "kids" make it for me one Thanksgiving weekend a couple of years ago. I figured they needed something productive to do if I was going to make a huge meal for everyone. It turned out great.
As I was outside, I realized something kind of ridiculous. Now that I have my blog, there are so many times when I am doing something or going somewhere that I think, "Oh, I should take pictures! This could be a blog post!" Never, in the past would I have considered ripping out my plants something worthy of taking pictures. But hey, you never know what people might find somewhat interesting, or will read just to be polite!
What about my other fellow gardeners? Are your pots emptied? Where do you put your spent flowers? Have you cut back over the years?